PIONEERING clinical training company Healthcare Skills have embarked on a major exercise aimed at highlighting their role as the only UK providers of definitive qualifications to medical device company representatives.
Key to the organisation’s strategy is a corporate rebranding that strengthens their world-class credentials, a new website and a fresh, strategic drive to communicate to both clinical professionals and medical device companies the need to embrace training as compliance pressures mount in hospitals.
Healthcare Skills is the only company in Britain offering qualifications that are fit for purpose to medical device company representatives from the UK and abroad. These government-recognised certifications, which are externally validated and accredited by internationally renowned awarding body Pearson/Edexcel, ensure that the issue of risk posed to hospital managements or patients during surgical procedures is addressed.
The issue centres on the presence of medical device company representatives during surgical procedures. Patient safety and medical ethical standards can be compromised if these external employees cannot demonstrate a level of verifiable professional competence that legitimises their presence in operating theatres.
Until now, there have been limited guidelines and no regulations setting out the exact standards of professional practice required of non-clinical individuals that would ensure they comply with accepted or implied standards.
However, hospital managements are starting to demand compliance because of risk factors, not least of those being the danger of litigation directed against medical device company representatives and those who granted them access to theatre.
The training ethos espoused by Healthcare Skills, who are based at the Golden Jubilee Hospital in Clydebank, is founded on the universally-held acceptance that medical professionals cannot deliver the best possible outcomes for patients without harnessing the benefits of advancing technology.
However, it is unreasonable to expect members of clinical teams to be able to keep abreast of every innovation or development related to every device on the market. Until the late 1980s, advances in technology and instrumentation had been incremental. But then they started to become transformational, which fostered a growing dependency on medical device companies for technical support. As a result, hospital managers started to permit product specialists routine access to clinical areas, to allow surgical teams to benefit from their expert technical knowledge.
Consultants continue to embrace new surgical techniques, and industry technical support for them is essential.
Without qualifications, patient safety can be compromised, and unsatisfactory surgical outcomes that are linked to the presence of unqualified individuals in clinical areas can be shown to be the responsibility of hospital managements who failed to act to address the presence of an unquantifiable legal risk.
The awards offered by Healthcare Skills were originally developed by them in conjunction with the National Associations of Theatre Nurses. They have been taken up by representatives of some of the world’s largest corporations, and they are supported by professional bodies such as the Royal College of Surgeons in Glasgow.
The suite of Healthcare Skills BTEC short courses are based on the UK’s National Occupational Standards, which map to the European Qualifications Framework.
The Healthcare Skills qualifications are at level 4 and above, attracting European credits, which enables employers across the Continent to understand and recognise the many certifications that exist and how they compare to their home awards.
Diane Irvine, who founded the company and who has led her organisation in the training of hundreds of professionals – many of whom are employed by the world’s biggest corporations – said: “All of us at Healthcare Skills are proud to have embarked on a major rebranding that improves the company’s reach, reinforces our world-class training credentials and sharpens the focus on who we are and what we do.”
The new website showcases a host of dynamic features and content not found on the company’s previous online offering. From blog posting, to video and online learning, it marks a shift to an enhanced experience for Healthcare Skills’ existing clients and those making contact with them for the first time. Online consultancy and PR agency WordMediaCo Ltd oversaw its production, from conception to completion
Diane, whose organisation has been instrumental in the provision of qualification programmes for delegetes from more than 25 countries, added: “Healthcare professionals will find our website content to be informative and enlightening.
“I have been at the head of Healthcare Skills from the inception of the business 10 years ago, and I am immensely proud of the company’s achievements during that period.
“We are leaders in our field as a result of our professionalism, dedication and unmatched experience. One hundred per cent positive client feedback is testament to that, as is our track record with some of the world’s leading corporations.
“We legitimise access to clinical areas by providing externally validated training that supports ethical promotional practice, compliance and maximises professional competencies for the entire medical device industry.
“Healthcare Skills Training best understands how medical devices companies can promote the benefits of cutting-edge technology to hospital patients without compromising patient safety or ethical standards. We have been delivering excellence since our inception. We will continue to do that.”